those you would hear anywhere else in the world on such an occasion; they contain no information, but simply play on the emotions; and the people shout in unison and feel knit together by a common spirit. In Germany, however, people are not greatly sensitive to the magic of the spoken word; for in the course of these two days of celebration there are very few speeches, but a great deal of music and parading. The week before, a similar Communist manifestation took place at Bonn; and next week it will be Düsseldorf or somewhere else. Thus every Sunday radical workmen can visit their comrades in neighboring towns and proclaim their opinions to the world.

Some of the week-day parades do not contain more than twenty musicians; but the Parties do not want to be forgotten between their big celebrations. The following Sunday will be a military affair. The residential quarters of the town will be decorated with black, white, and red, but even more with the white and red and the white and green local flags.

On Friday, Hindenburg's eightieth birthday is celebrated. Moving pictures are displayed showing the crossing of the Danube and the invasion of Rumania under Hindenburg and Mackensen. Four allies against the world 'Many enemies, much honor.' The life of Hindenburg is then shown. He is a national hero. His childhood, his military career, his fight for the nation's life during the war, his rôle as father of victorious soldiers during the retreat, and as father of the German people in the vicissitudes of peace, are all depicted.

The proceeds from the sale of tickets to this picture will help pay for a monument that is being raised to Schlageter, the hero of the passive resistance, who was condemned to death by the French military tribunal and shot.

On Sunday, Mackensen himself reviews the various societies of Elberfeld, Barmen, and the surrounding country. The reviewing stand is in front of Bismarck's statue, in the middle of the park between the two towns. An airplane does tricks above the crowd.

One by one the delegations arrive, carrying their flags. Many of the officers wear their old uniforms— uhlans, dragoons, hussars, engineers, marine and infantry officers. They are in parade dress, with spiked helmets or helmets with a ball on top. These headpieces are made of copper, nickel, or shiny black leather. Other groups wear black. Those with scarfs around their waists are undoubtedly presidents of clubs. Many have no costume, but carry their old helmets over their arms. The majority display an amazing array of medals on their chests, which clink at every step; and iron crosses are everywhere- some fastened around the collar, others pinned to all parts of the chest.

Hats are raised and handkerchiefs are waved as the automobile carrying Field-Marshal Mackensen of the Death's-head Hussars passes. People shout 'Achtung!' and the troops pass in review. After a few orders, they form in a hollow square and listen to a brief speech from their former commander: 'Old soldiers, thank you for coming. Conserve preciously the idea of military duty and of defense of the Fatherland. Transmit it intact to the young generation.' Music and more orders while Mackensen stations himself at the head of the parade. The band strikes up an old military air, fifes and cymbals alternate, the different delegations file by, each carrying a flag, and more music, groups of young men, and even a squad of women, bring up the


Mackensen stops and stations himself at the right of the road, surrounded

by a few superior officers. The band stands in front of him, and the whole parade marches past executing the wellnamed goose-step. It richly deserves the admiration of first sergeants.

If a spectator does not enjoy a good view, and can see only the heads of the paraders, he will observe that the goose-step merely accentuates the rhythm, and slows down the original German stride only a little. I, however, was lucky enough to stand near Mackensen, and had great difficulty in keeping myself from laughing at the sight of all these fat old men with their arms held stiff as rods against their sides, lifting their legs all together, much higher than they naturally would.

The last part of the parade was not very successful. The police could not keep the crowd in check, with the result that the passage for the paraders was too narrow. The unfortunate Mackensen was pushed back, and the musicians had no room to play their instruments. The paraders marched in columns of four, though often there was not enough room for two abreast, what with the little boys running under their legs all the time. Orders could not be heard above the shouts of derision from the crowd, and, in spite of the discipline, could not be well executed.

'What you are looking at now is largely the result of French nationalism. Nationalists, you see, live on each other. After the Revolution there was very little of it in Germany, but your policy of force-your hand at the throat, and the occupation of the Ruhr-brought it to life again. By shooting Schlageter, you gave us a hero, a martyr. Now all kinds of legends cling to his name. One of my professors denounced pacifists as friends of the French and traitors to their country.'

'But how about Locarno, Geneva, Thoiry?'

'It would be better to promise less and use less flowery language: Germans do not take words very seriously, and are not sensitive to the beauties of rhetoric as such. Briand speaks of reconciliation, and Painlevé presides at the Peace Congress, but your soldiers are still on the Rhine.'

A German professor is taking his class to the Gesolei. He is dressed in a Tyrolese hat, and his ample waistline bears testimony to the virtues of German beer. The Gesolei indicates Gesundheitspflege, soziale Fürsorge, Leibesübungen, meaning care of health, social organization, and physical exercise. On either side of the monumental entrance are the flags of various nations. The French is placed next to the German, and the American and English flags are in a less conspicuous position.

The exposition is held in a little town beside the Rhine, about three kilometres long and two hundred and fifty metres wide. The prevalent style is that of modern art, with simple lines, wide perspectives, and ferroconcrete æsthetics. The general effect reminds me of our own exposition of decorative arts.

Here are some of the most vivid impressions that I received. According to the German White Cross, we must turn our backs on music, cabarets, indecent styles, pornographic journals, and the kind of amusements that French and Italians go in for. I attended a public reunion of this type outside the exposition. It took its stand against beer, wine, all alcoholic drinks, tobacco, and even sugar. This was done for patriotic reasons. The Dawes Plan is based on morality, for the annual payments are determined in part by the cost of all commodities except wine.

Next to the White Cross building is another structure where the merits of beer are proclaimed, and a little farther on the joys of life and the joys of eating -Genussmittel and Nahrungsmittelare celebrated in verse. We are urged to return to nature. We are told that beer is not alcoholic. We are asked to drink coffee as nature made it, for it puts heart into our work.

Next is a reunion of veterans, where busts of Ludendorff and Hindenburg, wearing symbolic crowns, are displayed. Here is a typical slogan: "The revival of Germany will not be achieved through the League of Nations, but by the union of all patriotic Germans, whether they are Monarchists or Republicans. This union must be based on the activities of former comrades at the front.'

A society of Nationalist business men proclaims: 'Think of the Treaty of Versailles. Germany should reunite all Germans.' Beneath this is a map with all districts inhabited by German people shown in black. This includes, not only Germany itself, but the part of Schleswig given back to Denmark, the Polish Corridor, Memel, the German provinces on the Volga, part of Posen and Polish Silesia, a bit of the Czechoslovakian frontier, Austria, a section of the Tyrol, German Switzerland, most of Alsace-Lorraine, and EupenMalmedy. The exposition of German coal has a notice giving the output in 1919 as two million tons, in 1920 fifteen million, in 1921 eighteen million, and in 1922 nineteen million.

Next is a medical exhibit of colonial diseases, marsh fevers, and sleeping sickness. A placard proclaims that the native populations are demanding German doctors. It seems that their return is being strongly urged. Another placard announces that there are too

many medical students. They have no chance to practise. The International Red Cross occupies an enormous hall draped with flags bearing the legend, Inter arma caritas. There are also placards in French and English, and a tableau representation of the history of the Red Cross, of successive congresses, of its neutrality and sacred principles. The names of all the cities are written in French, which astonishes me. 'But is n't French the true international language?' says an attendant.

The German Red Cross devotes itself in peace times to work on tuberculosis and alcoholism, and the bringing of first aid to victims of various catastrophies. There is even a young Red Cross group,-Jugend Rote Kreuz,dressed in a kind of Boy Scout uniform. Their motto is, 'Health, gayety, and good fellowship.'

The State smiles on all forms of the Youth Movement. It helps them out with reduced railway fares, and there is a regular organization to assist people who cover Germany on foot from the Moselle to Memel, as Deutschland über Alles says. Some of them are even willing to venture outside Germany and visit the German colonies on the Volga, or join the German soldiers in the French Foreign Legion in Africa. Every city has a young people's hotel where excursionists can eat and sleep for a few pfennigs. Traveling through Germany on rivers and canals, in sailboats, is also tremendously popular -the Rhine is alive with them.

As I walk back exhausted with the number of impressions I have been receiving, I suddenly hear the Marseillaise being sung and whistled by a group of marchers. It is not the first time that I have heard this tune in Germany.



THE discoverer of the Bergin Process lives remote from coal and oil, in an atmosphere where it is hard even to think of factory chimneys. His study windows overlook the fine old Heidelberg bridge across the Neckar, and it is only a step from the door of his quiet, roomy residence to the Philosopher's Path. Nevertheless, the genius loci is not hostile to the chemist, and it seems fitting to find in the city of Bunsen and Kirchhoff the man who has wrested from coal one of its greatest secrets.

Friedrich Bergius does not look his part. He suggests neither a closet scholar buried in theories and formulas nor a keen engineer immersed in problems of modern technique. He is of less than average height, of graceful carriage, and has the head of a musician and features that recall slightly those of Mussolini. On the whole he looks more of an artist than an engineer. This impression is strengthened by his vivacious and picturesque language, which indicates a temperament grasping eagerly for something beyond the routine and actual, transcending the pedestrian facts with which a scientist is supposed to deal.

Bergius is a Berliner whose ancestors lived for centuries in Pomerania. Nevertheless, a most un-Pomeranian disregard for tradition seems to have characterized his family. Fathers and sons have rarely followed the same profession - each generation has branched 1 From Berliner Tageblatt (Liberal daily),

January 5

out into something new. The young Friedrich early devoted himself to physical chemistry under Ostwald, Nernst and Haber, the men who were responsible for the brilliant revival of that science. He said in mentioning this: 'Physical chemistry had already held an important place in scientific research, especially during the early researches into electrochemistry, and had disclosed scientific vistas of unanticipated reach. But then came a great wave of interest in structural chemistry, which soon monopolized the field and made a dogma of the absolute separation between chemistry and physics. It took courage at the time I was a young student to choose physical chemistry for one's specialty. The chemist was then a man who dealt with pure substances with poor apparatus; the physicist dealt with impure substances with good apparatus; and the physical chemist was trying to deal with impure substances with bad apparatus. In those days almost every chemist performed his experiments under conditions which seemed superficially normal but were by no means the only conceivable conditions. Pressure and temperature, which to-day are determining factors in chemical technique, were then associated with each other only to the extent that the good Lord had coupled them in everyday life. Chemists looked upon ordinary atmospheric pressure and temperatures obtained in the usual way as unchangeable conditions, or, to say the least, they had no idea that varying

them might have decisive chemical effects. A man of unusual boldness who was not afraid to admit that he was a physical chemist might employ a vacuum instead of normal pressure. But that is only a small step forward, and, as experience proved, a step of little significance. We have learned since how to use several hundred times the normal atmospheric pressure, and thus to obtain chemical changes the practical importance of which rivals their scientific significance.

'Such a development was possible, of course, only after we had learned how to produce this high pressure. As soon as we were able to do this we began to obtain striking results. Haber's synthesis of ammonia was the pioneer advance toward a revival of physical chemistry. My own work, which has led to the synthesis of the hydrocarbons, is based on Haber's high-pressure methods, which I have modified for my specific purpose.'

From the beginning of his independent researches Bergius specialized in high-pressure technique and in the carbons. In 1910 he established, with his own money, an experimental laboratory at Hanover. Chemical progress is always largely a matter of multiplying experiments, plus intuition. Bergius had speculated for a long time upon the way in which coal was produced. He felt sure that pressure and temperature were the principal factors in this geological process. He therefore set about reproducing in his retorts the conditions which had operated for thousands of years in nature. Perhaps it would be more accurate to call these retorts steel bombs. Within two years he began to get positive results. In 1912 he succeeded in producing coal, or a substance closely resembling coal, out of cellulose. Apparently he had uncovered one of nature's secret patents. To be sure, this discovery was

of no strictly practical value. The quantity of quasi coal he secured in his early experiments never exceeded four or five grammes, and in an attempt to produce a kilo he encountered extraordinary obstacles.

Bergius now went a step further, or rather his ideas took a leap into an entirely new region. He decided that, if cellulose could be converted into coal under powerful pressure and at high temperatures, he might, by subjecting coal and hydrogen to similar conditions in his steel bombs, produce reactions impossible at atmospheric pressure and at lower temperatures. Possibly the product would be one of those valuable hydrocarbons popularly grouped under the name 'petroleum.'

So he made the experiment, and it succeeded. At a pressure of one hundred atmospheres and a constant temperature of four hundred degrees centigrade, the molecule of carbon was so loosened that it combined with hydrogen subjected to the same conditions, and came out of its imprisonment as liquid coal, or, more properly, a fluid hydrocarbon.

When the first drops of the petroleum thus produced trickled out of his little two-litre steel bomb, Bergius could say that he had written the initial words of a new chapter in the economic history of Germany and of the world. He need only develop from this laboratory discovery a profitable commercial process, and our whole economic horizon would be changed.

That decisive experiment was made before the outbreak of the World War. His labor since that time has been concentrated entirely upon this problem of commercial production. It was a long, laborious, and discouraging task, the more difficult because war and inflation placed almost insurmountable obstacles in his path. To-day, however, his researches have reached a point

« ElőzőTovább »